Faces of the Street,  Street Encounters

An Encounter with Brenda

Today I saw Brenda on the sidewalk of Washington Ave sitting alone just outside of a small group of men also on the sidewalk minding their own business and casually chatting with one another. I pulled over to talk to her with hopes to get to know her. Approaching people on the street can be risky and honestly dangerous if good judgment and wisdom aren’t utilized, because of the severely high count numbers of mental instability. From my experience, the majority of these people are good folks with good hearts. Unfortunately, many of them suffer from mental illnesses and they aren’t always aware of or live in reality.

Brenda shared with me that she’d been on the streets for the last 15 years; 3 of which here in Las Vegas. She has been trying to save enough money to get California, but with the constant arguing in her head, she’s been unable to save enough money to purchase a bus ticket. Eating is always an adventure for Brenda. Some days she goes without while other days she may have a sandwich left over or is able to catch a meal at one of the shelters or as a last resort, she may find something in a dumpster that the mice haven’t eaten.

I left a little cash and prayed with Brenda to show my gratitude for taking the time to speak with me. As I was entering my car, I noticed two men handing out lunch bags and water to the group of people sitting on the sidewalk, including Brenda. I thought, “Wow! That’s so awesome to see other’s like me taking care of our friends.” To my surprise, the two men handing out lunches and water returned to their belongings and sat down to eat lunch themselves. Turns out, those two Good Samaritans were homeless themselves.

Dorcas House | Faces of the Street: Brenda's Group


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